11th Hour offer to purchase Boyd Theatre

posted by Michael Zoldessy on February 24, 2014 at 7:59 am


PHILADELPHIA, PA — With a Historical Commission meeting to decide the future of the Boyd Theatre looming on Thursday, an anonymous donor has stepped in offering to purchase the theatre for $4.5 Million. This technically should block Live Nation’s sale to another buyer based on the argument of it not being financially viable but the commission will make the final call.

We have plenty of news coverage to bring you up to speed on this exciting development:

Hidden City The Inquirer CBS Local Eyes on the Street

(1956-57 photo courtesy of Friends of the Boyd, Inc.)

Theaters in this post

Comments (6)

atb on February 24, 2014 at 10:04 am

I don’t know what is more irresponsible: the picture of the Boyd in all of it’s glory (why not run a “before and after” picture to let people know what an eyseore the facade has become) or the “11th hour” offer which will result in nothing being done to the facility for another 12 years. The one-sided nature of the coverage of this issue on this site is nothing short of shameful. The thousands of residents of center city (and I am one of them) who need a new movie theater built now are being held hostage by a small group of people with an agenda no rational business person can agree to. I hope the commission looks out for the “needs of the many will outweigh the needs of the one.”

Nicholas Vargelis
Nicholas Vargelis on February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

dear atb: This site is focused on showcasing the architecture of spaces for viewing movies. The interior of the Boyd auditorium is of much greater interest to me than a banal multi-plex black box. I suggest you look elsewhere if you want to have more “objective” coverage of the proposed demolition of the Boyd. Furthermore, I think your distaste of the “eyesore the façade has become” to be irrelevant. If you want a characterless uniformly clean neighborhood why not move to a wealthy suburban town ?

dickneeds111 on February 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

If you want to see what can be done with some old beat up Grand theatres, come to Boston and look at 3 examples. 1- The Citi bank Wang(formerly the Metropolitan/Music Hall 2- the Mayflower and #3 the RKO Keiths Memorial/Savoy now the Opera House. Come on Philly fans keep on fighting and get the Boyd purchased and restored. It can be done with a lot of money and patience.

bigjoe59 on February 27, 2014 at 8:39 am

Hello from NYC-

i have greatly enjoyed browsing this site since i came upon it the end of Jan 2012. so i set up a little project for myself. the golden age of building grand old movie theaters or palaces as some were was approx. 1914-1941. so i have a very specific question- of such theaters built in Philadelphia from the get go as venues for 1st run exclusive engagements how many have continued to operate as such since the day they opened? Manhattan doesn’t have any nor does San Francisco. so i was wondering if Philadelphia did.

atb on February 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm

The Philadelphia Historical Commission granted preliminary approval of the iPic proposal; full commission approval due March 14th. My recommendation for all on this board: ignore what will be the hue and cry of the few and celebrate the fact that at least some part of the history of the Boyd (the façade) will live on. That said, fire your slings and arrows all who live the dream that this relic could be saved with pipe dreams and false promises…

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

You’re being a snot atb. There’s no reason you need to come to a preservation-related web site and make comments directly against what many here believe. What is to be accomplished besides riling people up?

If you have further comments along these lines I suggest setting up your own thread on Blogspot or Wordpress.

For my two cents I think it’s a shame Philadelphia isn’t saving the last movie palace as a civic showplace. It isn’t all about the bottom line, and I know very well there are worse things a municipality could spend money on.

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